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Old 10-05-2017, 10:34 PM
charles_the_hammer charles_the_hammer is offline
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Astra 6" 44 Mag w/chipped forcing cone? Astra 6" 44 Mag w/chipped forcing cone? Astra 6" 44 Mag w/chipped forcing cone? Astra 6" 44 Mag w/chipped forcing cone? Astra 6" 44 Mag w/chipped forcing cone?  
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Default Astra 6" 44 Mag w/chipped forcing cone?

Howdy. Me again.

While perusing my local "trade your stuff for drug money" establishment, I came across an Astra/Interarms .44 mag with a 6 inch barrel. This one looks a lot like a N Frame Model 29. It doesn't have the rounded off bottom part of the frame like I have seen on other Astra's discussed here in some old threads. It doesn't look like it's in too bad a shape, but upon closer inspection I noticed that the forcing cone has a small chip on top outer edge at about 8 o'clock. It's not a crack, just a chip.

Should I pass on this? It's very reasonably priced and a lot less that a 29. It also has a pinned barrel and recessed cylinder. Bluing isn't too bad. Grips aren't so hot. The only thing that worries me is the forcing cone chip.

What say ye', oh revolver gurus? I have attached a pic of a gun just like it I found on the internet:

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Old 10-05-2017, 11:57 PM
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Astra 6" 44 Mag w/chipped forcing cone? Astra 6" 44 Mag w/chipped forcing cone? Astra 6" 44 Mag w/chipped forcing cone? Astra 6" 44 Mag w/chipped forcing cone? Astra 6" 44 Mag w/chipped forcing cone?  
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I'm no guru, but if I were I'd have to say...

It's hard to give an opinion on your question without a picture of the actual "chipped" forcing cone. Is it on the inside of the cone or on the outside? How big is it?

FWIW, I have an Astra Terminator in Inox (a.k.a stainless steel) and it seems to be a fine revolver. Pretty close to S&W quality as far as I can tell.
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Old 10-06-2017, 01:59 AM
charles_the_hammer charles_the_hammer is offline
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Astra 6" 44 Mag w/chipped forcing cone? Astra 6" 44 Mag w/chipped forcing cone? Astra 6" 44 Mag w/chipped forcing cone? Astra 6" 44 Mag w/chipped forcing cone? Astra 6" 44 Mag w/chipped forcing cone?  
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I wish I had taken a picture of it.

The chip is on the outside edge of the cone, at about the 8 o'clock position looking down the sights. It's also blued, so I don't know if it was a small imperfection that came from the factory like that, or if someone hit it with some cold blue.

Also, will N Frame S&W or Pachmayr grips fit on this thing? It could use some new grips.
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Old 10-06-2017, 02:10 AM
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Astra 6" 44 Mag w/chipped forcing cone? Astra 6" 44 Mag w/chipped forcing cone? Astra 6" 44 Mag w/chipped forcing cone? Astra 6" 44 Mag w/chipped forcing cone? Astra 6" 44 Mag w/chipped forcing cone?  
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Well, FWIW, I would be a lot less concerned if it is on the outside than if it were on the inside.

I assume this one has the same frame as my Terminator in which case the grip portion of the frame is more likely to be the same size as a K-frame. Is it round or square? My Terminator has a round butt grip and most K-frame grips fit it. Though some don't because of the location of the hammer spring.

The S&W has a curved flat spring which is off center in the grip frame, but the Astra has a coil spring wound around a strut rod that runs right down the center of the grip frame. So if the grips have a screw that is centered (front to rear), it will likely interfere with the strut and coiled spring.

Last edited by BC38; 10-06-2017 at 02:11 AM.
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Old 10-06-2017, 02:19 AM
charles_the_hammer charles_the_hammer is offline
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Astra 6" 44 Mag w/chipped forcing cone? Astra 6" 44 Mag w/chipped forcing cone? Astra 6" 44 Mag w/chipped forcing cone? Astra 6" 44 Mag w/chipped forcing cone? Astra 6" 44 Mag w/chipped forcing cone?  
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Thanks, man. I appreciate the advice.

It's a square butt and the screw is located towards the back of the grip like the one pictured above.
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Old 10-06-2017, 10:55 AM
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Astra 6" 44 Mag w/chipped forcing cone? Astra 6" 44 Mag w/chipped forcing cone? Astra 6" 44 Mag w/chipped forcing cone? Astra 6" 44 Mag w/chipped forcing cone? Astra 6" 44 Mag w/chipped forcing cone?  
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A pic of the chip is necessary.

Depending on how the chip is structured, it might be best to avoid, but on the other hand it may be fine.

I would view the chip under a loupe and determine if there are any characteristics that may allow it to develop into a crack, like stress lines. The constant heating up and cooling will not be good for that.

So depending on the price and the chip, it's a hard decision. I would probably just pass on it.
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Old 10-06-2017, 11:04 AM
mtgianni mtgianni is offline
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Astra 6" 44 Mag w/chipped forcing cone? Astra 6" 44 Mag w/chipped forcing cone? Astra 6" 44 Mag w/chipped forcing cone? Astra 6" 44 Mag w/chipped forcing cone? Astra 6" 44 Mag w/chipped forcing cone?  
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If it does require work the cost of a barrel or a threading, cutting, shortening it would quickly exceed the value of the gun.
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Old 10-06-2017, 11:08 AM
glenncal1 glenncal1 is offline
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Astra 6" 44 Mag w/chipped forcing cone? Astra 6" 44 Mag w/chipped forcing cone? Astra 6" 44 Mag w/chipped forcing cone? Astra 6" 44 Mag w/chipped forcing cone? Astra 6" 44 Mag w/chipped forcing cone?  
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Not seeing the chip it is hard to say (and I am not a gunsmith) but I would be leary of touching off a .44 mag into a barrel with a flaw. I would have a gunsmith look at the gun before any purchase.
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Old 10-06-2017, 01:09 PM
charles_the_hammer charles_the_hammer is offline
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Astra 6" 44 Mag w/chipped forcing cone? Astra 6" 44 Mag w/chipped forcing cone? Astra 6" 44 Mag w/chipped forcing cone? Astra 6" 44 Mag w/chipped forcing cone? Astra 6" 44 Mag w/chipped forcing cone?  
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I am going over there again today. I will get some pics.
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Old 10-06-2017, 08:21 PM
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Astra 6" 44 Mag w/chipped forcing cone? Astra 6" 44 Mag w/chipped forcing cone? Astra 6" 44 Mag w/chipped forcing cone? Astra 6" 44 Mag w/chipped forcing cone? Astra 6" 44 Mag w/chipped forcing cone?  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charles_the_hammer View Post
...It's a square butt and the screw is located towards the back of the grip like the one pictured above.
That makes sense - that the grip screw would be off-center.
So the only K-frame grips that would fit would be ones with the screw that is off-center OR the Hogue one-piece style that has the stirrup and screw in the bottom of the grip.
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Old 10-07-2017, 05:15 PM
charles_the_hammer charles_the_hammer is offline
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Astra 6" 44 Mag w/chipped forcing cone? Astra 6" 44 Mag w/chipped forcing cone? Astra 6" 44 Mag w/chipped forcing cone? Astra 6" 44 Mag w/chipped forcing cone? Astra 6" 44 Mag w/chipped forcing cone?  
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Quote:
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So the only K-frame grips that would fit would be ones with the screw that is off-center
Are these off-center enough to fit?



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Old 10-07-2017, 09:01 PM
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Astra 6" 44 Mag w/chipped forcing cone? Astra 6" 44 Mag w/chipped forcing cone? Astra 6" 44 Mag w/chipped forcing cone? Astra 6" 44 Mag w/chipped forcing cone? Astra 6" 44 Mag w/chipped forcing cone?  
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Quote:
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Are these off-center enough to fit?
Can't really say 100% without looking at the gun with the grips off. It is more off-center than it would be on a factory set of S&W grips, but not as far off center as the ones on the Astra in the photo.
But it is close, so chances are really good that they would work.
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Old 10-07-2017, 10:11 PM
charles_the_hammer charles_the_hammer is offline
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Astra 6" 44 Mag w/chipped forcing cone? Astra 6" 44 Mag w/chipped forcing cone? Astra 6" 44 Mag w/chipped forcing cone? Astra 6" 44 Mag w/chipped forcing cone? Astra 6" 44 Mag w/chipped forcing cone?  
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I have read a lot on forum posts about S&W grips allegedly fitting them, but I have yet to see a post that actually says "Yes - Smith & Wesson K Frame Target Grips WILL fit an Astra .44 Magnum. I have actually done this." It's all posts like "Pretty sure they will fit" or "I hear they will fit". Also no pics of any Astra .44 revolvers with actual S&W grips on them. Just "tales from the gun web" that say they will work.

I don't think the chip is really that bad. I'm buying this thing. If it blows up on me I'm only out $250 - which I thought was a pretty good price for this thing. I put it on layaway with fifty bucks (20%) today.

The only thing that bugs me about it is that the grips look a little worn and a previous Bubba painted the front sight ramp red. I'll probably #0000 steel wool the paint off and hit it with some cold blue.

I also need to work on the stocks. If I don't end up getting some old S&W Target Stocks for it, I think I will give the ones on there a good rub down with some acetone to get rid of the sweat/oil that has accumulated (careful to avoid the medallions), then buff off the remaining glossy finish with more #0000 steel wool, apply a few coats of some Minwax "Gun Stock" color stain, and then spray them down with some gloss poly. Won't look "showroom" I'm certain, but it will be an improvement IMO.

I know this will probably sound cliche', but I have had a hankerin' for a "Dirty Harry" gun since I was a kid back in the 80's. The price point on this thing is just too good compared to the $1,000+ prices I see on the model 29 - and this thing could pass for a Smith at a short distance. I don't care if it's painful to shoot, either. I actually like coming back from the range with a sore shoulder from shooting my old Lee-Enfield No.1 MKIII. It's kinda like coming back home from the gym after working out. Hopefully my wrists can handle as much abuse as my shoulder.

I'll post some pics when I get it out of the hock shop.
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Old 10-07-2017, 10:43 PM
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Astra 6" 44 Mag w/chipped forcing cone? Astra 6" 44 Mag w/chipped forcing cone? Astra 6" 44 Mag w/chipped forcing cone? Astra 6" 44 Mag w/chipped forcing cone? Astra 6" 44 Mag w/chipped forcing cone?  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charles_the_hammer View Post
I have read a lot on forum posts about S&W grips allegedly fitting them, but I have yet to see a post that actually says "Yes - Smith & Wesson K Frame Target Grips WILL fit an Astra .44 Magnum. I have actually done this." It's all posts like "Pretty sure they will fit" or "I hear they will fit". Also no pics of any Astra .44 revolvers with actual S&W grips on them. Just "tales from the gun web" that say they will work.

I don't think the chip is really that bad. I'm buying this thing. If it blows up on me I'm only out $250 - which I thought was a pretty good price for this thing. I put it on layaway with fifty bucks (20%) today.

The only thing that bugs me about it is that the grips look a little worn and a previous Bubba painted the front sight ramp red. I'll probably #0000 steel wool the paint off and hit it with some cold blue.

I also need to work on the stocks. If I don't end up getting some old S&W Target Stocks for it, I think I will give the ones on there a good rub down with some acetone to get rid of the sweat/oil that has accumulated (careful to avoid the medallions), then buff off the remaining glossy finish with more #0000 steel wool, apply a few coats of some Minwax "Gun Stock" color stain, and then spray them down with some gloss poly. Won't look "showroom" I'm certain, but it will be an improvement IMO.

I know this will probably sound cliche', but I have had a hankerin' for a "Dirty Harry" gun since I was a kid back in the 80's. The price point on this thing is just too good compared to the $1,000+ prices I see on the model 29 - and this thing could pass for a Smith at a short distance. I don't care if it's painful to shoot, either. I actually like coming back from the range with a sore shoulder from shooting my old Lee-Enfield No.1 MKIII. It's kinda like coming back home from the gym after working out. Hopefully my wrists can handle as much abuse as my shoulder.

I'll post some pics when I get it out of the hock shop.
For $250 it is worth the risk IMO.

BTW, I can (and did) say that some aftermarket k-frame round-butt grips do and WILL fit a large frame round-butt Astra 44 magnum. But like I said, not ALL k-frame round butt grips will fit because a lot of them have the grip screw centered in the side of the panels. That is not hearsay - that is from experience. Here is a picture of mine wearing k-frame Pachmayr grips.

Of course that doesn't guarantee the same is true for the square butt frames. It would only be logical for Astra to pattern them after the S&W square butt too - since that is what they did for the round butt. Butt of course it isn't guaranteed.

If the original stocks have metal medallions acetone won't hurt them. As long as the medallions aren't plastic, I'd soak the stocks in acetone for a few hours and scrub them with a stiff toothbrush to remove the existing finish. If necessary soak them a second time. Then take them out of the acetone and let them dry overnight. Lastly, refinish them with a 50/50 mixture of Tru-oil and boiled linseed oil. Rub on a light coat with a scrap of t-shirt material. Let it dry several hours until it is no longer tacky, and rub on another coat. Repeat until you get the amount of gloss and color you like. No need for any steel wool or sandpaper or anything else.
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Last edited by BC38; 10-07-2017 at 10:54 PM.
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Old 10-07-2017, 11:11 PM
charles_the_hammer charles_the_hammer is offline
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Astra 6" 44 Mag w/chipped forcing cone? Astra 6" 44 Mag w/chipped forcing cone? Astra 6" 44 Mag w/chipped forcing cone? Astra 6" 44 Mag w/chipped forcing cone? Astra 6" 44 Mag w/chipped forcing cone?  
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I was referring to other forums where I read that about the grips. I had forgotten you posted that above. No offense given, there.

The issue I see with the grips is that they look glossy at the top and dull at the bottom. I figured I would have to remove the gloss coat from the upper part to make an even finish.

Also, I forgot to get a pic before I left out of there today. I would be willing to bet some Bubba "cowboy'd" it and chipped it. I checked for hammer push off and made sure the ejector rod was straight. Both were good to go. I also pushed on the cylinder while closed to make sure there was no loose crane or gap on the front of the frame. Everything checks out except for the chip.

And I do appreciate all the input, gentlemen. Thank you very much.
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Old 10-07-2017, 11:17 PM
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Astra 6" 44 Mag w/chipped forcing cone? Astra 6" 44 Mag w/chipped forcing cone? Astra 6" 44 Mag w/chipped forcing cone? Astra 6" 44 Mag w/chipped forcing cone? Astra 6" 44 Mag w/chipped forcing cone?  
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No offense taken. Just wanted to make sure you realized my comments were from actual experience.

I wouldn't have any hesitation with refinishing the stocks using the technique I described. Pretty easy and the results will surprise you.
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Old 10-07-2017, 11:22 PM
charles_the_hammer charles_the_hammer is offline
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Astra 6" 44 Mag w/chipped forcing cone? Astra 6" 44 Mag w/chipped forcing cone? Astra 6" 44 Mag w/chipped forcing cone? Astra 6" 44 Mag w/chipped forcing cone? Astra 6" 44 Mag w/chipped forcing cone?  
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I saw a guy refinish a rifle stock using Tru-Oil on YouTube a while back. IIRC, he lightly sanded it, then rubbed the oil on without removing the dust. Said it "filled in the pores", or something. It looked really nice when it was done.

Hopefully the medallions are metal. This is going to sound really dumb, but how would I tell if they are metal? Is the metal often magnetic?
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Old 10-08-2017, 09:48 AM
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Astra 6" 44 Mag w/chipped forcing cone? Astra 6" 44 Mag w/chipped forcing cone? Astra 6" 44 Mag w/chipped forcing cone? Astra 6" 44 Mag w/chipped forcing cone? Astra 6" 44 Mag w/chipped forcing cone?  
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There is a set of Astra revolver grips on ebay right now. You can see if they are in better shape than the ones on the gun.
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Old 10-08-2017, 02:04 PM
charles_the_hammer charles_the_hammer is offline
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Astra 6" 44 Mag w/chipped forcing cone? Astra 6" 44 Mag w/chipped forcing cone? Astra 6" 44 Mag w/chipped forcing cone? Astra 6" 44 Mag w/chipped forcing cone? Astra 6" 44 Mag w/chipped forcing cone?  
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I didn't get a pic, but I found this video on YouTube of a guy with one just like mine except stainless. when he opens up the cylinder at about 42 seconds in, you can see this gun has the exact same blemish. If you pause the video and look closely you can see it:

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Old 10-08-2017, 02:39 PM
charles_the_hammer charles_the_hammer is offline
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Astra 6" 44 Mag w/chipped forcing cone? Astra 6" 44 Mag w/chipped forcing cone? Astra 6" 44 Mag w/chipped forcing cone? Astra 6" 44 Mag w/chipped forcing cone? Astra 6" 44 Mag w/chipped forcing cone?  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glenncal1 View Post
There is a set of Astra revolver grips on ebay right now. You can see if they are in better shape than the ones on the gun.
I think these are the ones you are talking about. They look like they are in about as good a shape as the ones already on there. I think I will start image searching S&W target grips and comparing the screw holes now.



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